(Health Secrets) Are you aging? Whether you are a man or a woman, the first indication of the degeneration we refer to as aging is the loss of hormones. Most people say this loss begins around age 40, but in truth it can begin as early as the late 20’s, and it is a difficult passage no matter when it starts.
The early stages of this passage are more visible in women than in men. A woman typically starts to gain weight and can actually shoot up a couple of dress sizes almost overnight. Periods become irregular and unpredictable, and she can find herself gushing menstrual blood at inopportune times and then going for a couple of months with no signs of menstruation. Hot flashes begin to wake her up in the middle of the night and she throws off the covers and pull up her nightshirt until that blazing heat subsides and is replaced with a chill. The sleep she has always taken for granted suddenly starts to elude her, and waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning unable to return to sleep can become common. Instead of her usual calmness and zest for life, she becomes a ball of stress with unpredictable mood swings, and an inner dialogue that tallies up grudges.
Hormonal decline can be seen in the mirror, as fine wrinkles appear. The body looses its firmness as the skin becomes thinner and more translucent. Suddenly she realizes that dry skin has become the norm, her breasts have begun to sag, and she has sprouted her first gray hairs.
Of course there are changes going on inside of her too. Bone is thinning and becoming more porous, blood vessels and arteries are stiffening, and major organs including the heart and brain have begun to shrink and lose functionality. The heart has to work harder to pump blood, and production of enzymes is reduced, leading to digestive issues and the reduced immunity that opens the door for the initiation of cancer.
Muscles lose tone and exercise no longer produces the benefits it once did. Insulin production is reduced and diabetes becomes a real possibility for the first time. Because the ability to convert Coenzyme Q10 to its usable form is diminished by hormone loss, the mitochondria work less efficiently to convert food to energy. Recovery from illness or trauma takes longer, and panic attacks start to set in. Dropped thoughts, forgetfulness and indifference begin to invade her once dynamic personality.
There is a big change in the bedroom too. The sexual encounter that once seemed so intimate and joyous becomes just another chore she’d rather skip.
How to get the real you back again
With the exception of supplemental estrogen, usually given in synthetic form, the medical establishment’s stance on age-related hormone decline is that it is a normal part of life and should not be treated. Certainly it is to their benefit to take this stance, because treating the degeneration and disease of the hormonally deficient is their bread and butter. If they replaced every declining hormone in their patients to optimal levels, they would soon be out of business.
But today many doctors who specialize in anti-aging medicine take exception to not treating age-related hormone loss. According to Dr. Philip Lee Miller MD:
“It doesn’t matter to me whether that deficiency is the normal condition of the aging human. When we can improve health and function by restoring hormone levels to optimal levels, it makes sense to do so. This is the essence of functional medicine, the goal of which is to restore function and not necessarily to treat disease.”
It is important to understand that both men and women have optimal levels of hormones for about the first three decades of life. They are in their prime during these years, and they look good and feel great. There is seldom a thought of degenerative disease. It is possible to regain that freedom by replacing hormones to optimal levels.
Surprisingly, many people have a closet full of supplements because they want to be sure they are replacing vitamins, minerals and other compounds to optimal levels, even though supplements don’t work very well without hormones. They wouldn’t dream of neglecting their health, and they would never say “Vitamin and mineral deficiency is just a part of aging” and let it go. Yet when it comes to something as critical as hormones, it’s a different story.
Remember that all aspects of cellular functioning including repair and replication are influenced by one or more hormones. Combating aging and the degenerative diseases that come with it requires restoring those optimal hormone levels you had in your prime. It is the greatest gift you could ever give to yourself.
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